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Cricket | IPL

All-round Pollard secures Mumbai win



Kieron Pollard smashed his way to a fifty and then took four wickets to help the Mumbai Indians to a 27-run win over the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

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Pollard bludgeoned his way to 64 off just 33 deliveries with six fours and fours sixes as Mumbai posted a formidable 197 for six.

In reply, the previously unbeaten Royals could only muster 170 all out off 19.4 overs despite a scintillating 76 off 42 balls from Owais Shah with medium-pacer Pollard claiming 4-44 off four overs and seamer Munaf Patel finishing with 4-28 off 3.4 overs.

Pollard, who brought up his fifty off 29 balls, was particularly severe on South African off-spinner Johan Botha smashing 22 runs off the bowler’s first, and only, over which included two fours and two sixes.

The right-handed Pollard brought up his first IPL fifty in typically belligerent style as he smashed a delivery from left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan into the stumps at the bowler’s end before the ball ricocheted off for four.

But Chavan had a small measure of revenge in the same over when he had Pollard caught at deep long-on.

Pollard shared in a fourth-wicket stand of 96 off a mere 8.4 overs with Ambati Rayudu who more than played his part in keeping the partnership moving with an aggressive 47 not out off 32 balls.

Mumbai, after being asked to bat, were given a quick start as they raced to 59 for one in the seventh over thanks to busy knocks from Richard Levi (29) and Rohit Sharma (21).

But the hosts slipped to 68 for three when Brad Hogg, the 41-year-old Australia left-arm wrist-spinner, bowled Sharma and Levi in consecutive overs.

However, Pollard and Rayudu made sure that the slip did not become a collapse.

Rajasthan’s bowlers all endured punishment with seamer Amit Singh, with 2-29 and Hogg, with 2-31, the best performers.

The Royals’ innings did not get off to the best of starts as Patel nabbed two wickets in two balls when he had Rahul Dravid (3) caught at mid-off and Shreevats Goswami (0) caught behind.

The double-strike left Rajasthan floundering on seven for two but Shah and Ajinkya Rahane put on 82 runs for the third wicket before Rahane, after scoring 40 off 31 balls chipped a delivery from Pollard to the long-on fielder.

The right-handed Shah looked as if he would help his team pull off an unlikely victory as he raced to his half-century off 32 balls but, after striking five fours and five sixes, his innings was ended when he was yorked by paceman Lasith Malinga (4-0-13-2).

Shah’s dismissal left Rajasthan on 134 for three, still needing 64 runs off 36 balls, but their hopes were finally ended in the 18th over when Pollard grabbed three wickets in four legitimate deliveries.

The big West Indian had Ashok Menaria (20) caught in the covers, Chavan (2) caught behind before he bowled Singh (0) as Rajasthan lost their last seven wickets for just 36 runs.

MUMBAI INDIANS - Tirumalasetti Suman, Richard Levi, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Dinesh Karthik (wk), James Franklin, Harbhajan Singh (capt), Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS – Rahul Dravid (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Ashok Menaria, Owais Shah, Kevon Cooper, Johan Botha, Ankeet Chavan, Brad Hogg, Amit Singh, Siddharth Trivedi.

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